It’s National Nutrition Month and a perfect opportunity to become educated on how nutrition impactsyour menstrual cycle. You usually know when Aunt Flow is ready to knock on your door, because of the cravings you get. That’s because fluctuating hormones play a key role, specifically estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone assist in menstrual regulation. So, what foods affect your period? Here’s a list of what to look out for.
Sugar cravings are common before and during menstruation. If you see a spike in sugar cravings during ovulation, it’s because progesterone levels are heightened. Higher levels of progesterone often lead to the body becoming insulin resistant. Because of the insulin resistance, you might notice the cravings for sugary treats.
One side effect of consuming too much sugar is putting on a few extra pounds, which can lead to irregular periods. Excess fat due to weight gain can increase certain hormones that cause the body to become increasingly resistant to insulin.
Veeda Tip: If you are craving sugary snacks, try munching on a low sugar fruit, like berries, kiwis and watermelon!
Alcohol can add empty calories. Low to moderate alcohol intake is okay, however, heavy alcohol consumption during your period can lead to heavier bleeding and more extended periods. Furthermore,doctors claim that having more than a drink per day while you’re on your period can worsen PMS. Alcohol can increase one’s appetite too, which can cause weight gain.
Veeda Tip: If you tend to experiencePMS or PMDD, moderate alcohol is fine. But heavy alcohol use can make symptoms much worse. If you are going to drink, consider a lower carbohydrate distilled spirit, especially if you are on a high protein, low carbohydrate diet.
Alcohol with no carbohydrates: Whiskey (0 carbs); dry martini (0 carbs); brandy (0 carbs), tequila shot (0 carbs); vodka and soda (0 carbs)
Alcohol with fewer carbohydrates: Champagne (1 gram of carb per glass); red wine (2 grams carbs per glass); white wine (2 gram of carbs per glass); beer (13 grams of carbs or more per glass)
Mixed alcohol drinks with higher carbohydrates: Bloody Mary (7 grams of carbs per glass); margarita (7 grams of carbs per glass); cosmopolitan (13 grams of carbs per glass); gin and tonic (16 grams of carbs per glass); white Russian (17 grams of carbs per glass); vodka and orange juice (28 grams of carbs per glass); rum and Coke (39 grams of carbs per glass)
Period Diet Game Plan
Avoid High Saturated Fat: Foods like hamburgers and pizza, as well as buttery and cheesy foods or anything with a high saturated fat content should be avoided.
Consume Low Fat In Moderation: While low fat is a good way to avoid extra pounds, a diet too low in good fats can lead to a hormonal imbalance that might even delay periods. Not having an adequate caloric intake and being malnourished, can also cause periods to stop.
Say Yes To High Fiber Foods: Fiber is essential for healthy bowel movements in addition to helping with weight loss. Too much fiber can lead to lower levels of estrogen, which can cause period irregularities.
Eat a balanced diet: A balanced diet is important, meaning that some fat and carbs are okay, as well as the occasional glass of wine or sweet treat. Medical experts suggest a balanced diet of protein, vegetables, fruits, and grains and to remember that moderation is key.
Follow Up with a Nutritionist or Doctor: Always follow up with a doctor or a nutritionist, especially if you have further questions about your dietary needs. Nutritionists will be able to customize a diet plan that’s right for your body and lifestyle.
On the subject of what goes into our bodies during that time of month, did you know conventional feminine hygiene products contain a host of synthetic materials and chemicals? Veeda tampons, pads and liners are 100 percent free from everything! Our only ingredient is natural cotton, so you won’t find any chlorine, rayon, pesticides, plastics or dyes, ever!
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